SAMI MOKBEL: Timo Werner and Kai Havertz flattered to deceive AGAIN on Chelsea’s biggest night as Mason Mount stole the show – the impatient Blues will demand more from the £115m German duo
When you are worth an estimated £10.56billion, spending an initial £115million on two players is a mere drop in the ocean.
But if Roman Abramovich is looking rather sceptically at last summer’s star captures, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, and wondering whether they’ve provided value for his money, it would be completely understandable.
Make no bones about it, Chelsea’s two marquee signings from that record-breaking transfer splurge have laboured. Chelsea’s billionaire owner should be entitled to more bang for his buck.
Timo Werner (left) and Kai Havertz (right) flattered to deceive on Chelsea’s big night in Seville
On Chelsea’s biggest night of the season, the German duo flattered to deceive — and not for the first time.
Instead, it was an Englishman who came through Chelsea’s academy who stole the show — again. In Seville, Mason Mount was being Mason Mount; Chelsea’s leader and legend of the present and future. Surely the captaincy is a formality.
Werner and Havertz’s paths seem rather less clear. Werner certainly has all the attributes to succeed in English football — he is quick and robust. His goalscoring record for RB Leipzig showed he knows how to find the back of the net.
But his 10-goal haul for Chelsea is substantially below the return the Stamford Bridge club would have expected.
At 25, time is on Werner’s side. It can often take imports a season to acclimatise to the Premier League. Robert Pires, for example, didn’t show his best for Arsenal until his second season at Highbury.
Mason Mount was being Mason Mount; Chelsea’s leader and legend of the present and future
But Chelsea aren’t renowned for their patience. Werner’s work-rate is unquestionable, he certainly puts a shift in. His six assists in the Premier League are also encouraging.
But for £53m, Chelsea will be demanding a greater output. As they will of Havertz, who could end up costing a club record £85m.
A beautiful footballer to watch, Havertz glides and turns with almost balletic precision. Even on Wednesday night, the quality he possesses in possession was crystal clear in flashes.
But the statistics tell another story: five goals — three of those against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup and another against the same Championship opposition in the FA Cup — and two assists is scant return for Chelsea’s investment.
Contracting Covid last year provides genuine mitigation, as does his age, 21. But the attacker arrived from Bayer Leverkusen with a reputation as being European football’s premier young talent.
It remains to be seen just how much longer Tuchel will put up with their abject performances
Not even the most ardent of Havertz’s admirers can say he has lived up to that billing so far. Thomas Tuchel appears ready to give his young countryman every opportunity to become a Chelsea superstar. But for now, the jury is out.
The pair were hooked by Tuchel in the 65th minute and their substitutions came as no real surprise.
The size of the investment in Werner and Havertz invariably means they will be afforded time to ensure their Chelsea careers catch fire.
But Chelsea’s desire to sign a new centre forward could certainly add an intriguing dynamic ahead of next season.
For now, at least personally, they’ll be forced to dwell on another night to forget.